Your Guide to Woburn Abbey
Woburn Abbey first opened to the public in 1955 and has welcomed visitors from all over the globe. There are 22 rooms that you can experience, which house one of the most significant private art collections in the world.
As you explore the many individual rooms of Woburn Abbey, you will also discover 18th-century French and English furniture, magnificent silver and gold collections, in the underground vaults, and a marvellous range of porcelain and many privately collected items treasured by generations of the Russell family.
These captivating rooms and fascinating antiques show a personal side to a public family that has been instrumental in many significant periods of English history.
400 years of history
The Abbey has been the home of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford, one of England's most powerful families, since the 1620s. It is currently the home of the 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford and their children. Russell family members have included Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, Lord High Admirals and philosophers over the centuries and provide a direct link to the events of the past that shaped the England of today.
Over 250 works of art
View one of the most outstanding collections of art works on public display. These include:
- The largest private collection of Venetian views painted by Canaletto on public view
- The Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I
- Artists such as Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Reynolds, and Van Dyck
- Artworks by Queen Victoria and Richard Stone
22 Rooms To Discover
The splendid rooms include:
- The unique Grotto which dates from the 1630s
- The State Apartments with original 18th-century architecture
- The Holland Library which is one of the largest private libraries with an extensive collection of natural history books
- Underground vaults housing the family's gold and silver collection
- The Chinese Room with its decorative wallpaper
At The Heart of an English Palladian Home
The Abbey has been at the centre of social and political history which includes tales of political reform, Royal State visits, imprisonment, beheading, grand tours, love affairs and more. Famous house guests have included monarchs, politicians, leading naturalists, famous designers, architects and adventurers.